Table of contents

Preface
Introduction
How much poverty is there?
Why does poverty exist?
What can be done to eliminate poverty?
Road map

PART 1: HISTORY OF THOUGHT

CHAPTER 1: ORIGINS OF THE IDEA OF A WORLD FREE OF POVERTY

1.1 Progress against absolute poverty over the last 200 years
1.2 Pre-modern ideas about poverty
Ancient origins
Mercantilism
1.3 Early antipoverty policies
1.4 The First Poverty Enlightenment
1.5 The transition in thinking in the 19th and early 20th centuries
The Industrial Revolution and poverty
Debates on the Poor Laws
Utilitarianism
A lost opportunity in America
The limitations of charity
Schooling debates
Socialism and the labor movement
Social research on poverty
New thinking in the early 20th century

CHAPTER 2: NEW THINKING ON POVERTY AFTER 1950

2.1 The Second Poverty Enlightenment
New economic thinking relevant to poverty
Rawls’s principles of justice
The rediscovery of poverty in America
America declares war on poverty
2.2 Debates and backlashes
Poverty and inequality measures for America
Culture of poverty?
Relative and subjective poverty
The basic-income movement
2.3 Poverty in the developing world
Planning for rapid industrialization
The planners’ critics
The aid industry and development economics are born
Bringing inequality in from the cold
Re-balancing development thinking
Debates on the poverty focus
Better data
Globalization and poverty
New millennium, new hope, new challenges

PART 2: MEASURES AND METHODS

CHAPTER 3: MEASURING WELFARE

3.1 Concepts of welfare
Welfarism
Extensions and alternatives to welfarism
Capabilities
Social effects on welfare
Opportunities
A less ambitious goal
3.2 Using household surveys for welfare measurement
Survey design
Goods coverage and valuation
Variability and the time period of measurement
Measurement errors in surveys
Interpersonal comparisons of welfare
3.3 Alternative measures in theory and practice
Real consumption per equivalent single adult
Predicted welfare based on circumstances
Food share
Nutritional indicators
Qualitative and mixed methods
Self-assessed welfare
3.4 Three principles
Principle 1: Strive to be absolutist in the space of welfare
Principle 2: Avoid paternalism
Principle 3: Recognize data limitations

CHAPTER 4: POVERTY LINES

4.1 Debates about poverty lines
4.2 Objective Poverty lines
Basic needs poverty lines
Updating poverty lines over time
Revealed preference tests of basic needs lines
The food-energy intake method
Relative poverty lines
Consistency versus specificity
4.3 Subjective poverty lines

CHAPTER 5: POVERTY AND INEQUALITY MEASURES

5.1 Normative foundations
5.2 Measuring inequality
5.3 Measuring poverty
Poverty measures
The consumption floor
Estimation issues
Hypothesis testing
Summary
5.4 Decompositions of poverty measures
Poverty profiles
Changes in parameters versus changes in quantities
Growth and redistribution components
The sectoral decomposition of a change in poverty
Transient versus chronic poverty
5.5 The robustness of poverty comparisons
5.6 Pro-poor growth and growth incidence
5.7 Measuring the “middle class”
Absolute and relative approaches
Vulnerability and the middle class
5.8 Poverty and inequality of opportunity
5.9 Targeting and incidence measures
Targeting measures
Behavioral effects
5.10 Mashup indices

CHAPTER 6: IMPACT EVALUATION

6.1 Knowledge gaps
6.2 Threats to the internal validity of an evaluation
Endogenous interventions
Spillover effects
Misspecification of impact dynamics
Behavioral responses to evaluation
6.3 Evaluation methods in practice
Social experiments
Non-experimental methods
Difference-in-difference (DD) estimators
Fixed-effects regressions
Instrumental variables estimators
6.4 The external validity of an evaluation
Heterogeneity in impacts
Portfolio effects
General equilibrium effects
Structural models
6.5 The ethical validity of an evaluation

PART 3: POVERTY AND POLICY

CHAPTER 7: DIMENSIONS OF POVERTY AND INEQUALITY IN THE WORLD

7.1 Global inequality
Large income disparities in the world
Inequality in the developing world
7.2 Poverty measures for the developing world
Data and measurement
Absolute poverty measures
Estimates of the consumption floor
Poorest left behind?
Differing fortunes across regions
The developing world’s bulging middle class
7.3 Poverty measures for urban and rural areas
7.4 Global measures of poverty
  Dissatisfaction with standard poverty measures
A globally-relevant poverty measure
Interpreting global relative poverty measures: two bounds
Truly global poverty measures
Differences in weakly relative poverty among developing countries
Concluding comments on relative poverty
7.5 Poverty and the non-income dimensions of welfare
The economic gradient in schooling and learning
The economic gradient in health and nutrition
Obesity
Socio-economic differences in mortality
Socio-economic differences in fertility
Family size and composition
Female-headship and poverty
Missing women
The feminization of poverty
Violence and poverty

CHAPTER 8: GROWTH, INEQUALITY AND POVERTY

8.1 Theories of economic growth and distributional change
Some basic concepts
Past debates on whether poor people benefit from economic growth
Development in a segmented economy
The Harris-Todaro model
Labor-market frictions
Modern growth economics
Institutions and growth
Factor distribution and growth
Insights on how inequality constrains growth
Poverty traps
8.2 Evidence on growth and distributional changes
The Industrial Revolution did (eventually) benefit wage workers
Evidence on distribution post-Kuznets
Growth and non-income dimensions of welfare
Growth and types of inequality
Urbanization and poverty
Progress against absolute poverty
Inequality as an impediment to pro-poor growth
Economic crises and poverty
8.3 Evidence on distributional impediments to growth
Macro evidence that inequality impedes growth
Evidence from micro studies
8.4 Pro-poor growth? Case studies for China, Brazil and India
China
Brazil
India

CHAPTER 9: ECONOMY-WIDE AND SECTORAL POLICIES

9.1 Urban versus rural
Urban-rural prioritization for development
Growth, poverty and urbanization
Conclusion on the role of agriculture and rural development
9.2 Land policies
9.3 Health care policies
9.4 Water, sanitation and hygiene
9.5 Schooling policies
Why do children from poor families get less schooling?
Mass schooling as a policy response
Banning child labor
9.6 Public information campaigns
9.7 Price interventions
Minimum wages
Rent controls
9.8 Trade policies
Whose gains from trade?
The globalization debate
9.9 Development aid
External development assistance
Aid and poverty reduction
Aid and growth
9.10 Policies and institutions
Policy advice and economics
Conditions for effective aid
Capital flight and odious debt
Poverty and poor institutions
Understanding persistently poor institutions

CHAPTER 10: TARGETED INTERVENTIONS 

10.1 An overview of coverage
10.2 Incentives, targeting and leakage
Information and incentives
The BIG idea
Targeting
Leakage
10.3 Targeted transfers
State-contingent transfers financed by taxation
Unconditional subsidies and transfers
Targeted incentives for investing in human capital
Early childhood development
A caveat on service quality
10.4 Other targeted policies
Workfare
Training and wage-subsidy schemes
Land-based targeting and land reforms
Microfinance for poor people
Poor area development programs

CONCLUSIONS: PAST PROGRESS AND FUTURE CHALLENGES

  Progress against poverty
  Explaining the transition in thinking
  Knowledge challenges
  Two paths going forward
References

 

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